2019 College Valedictorians

In recognition of their hard work and dedication, seven incredible students, including University Valedictorian Cameron Ashton, have been named SUU’s valedictorians for 2019. Each student demonstrates outstanding academic ability, placing them as the highest academically ranked individual in their area of study.

University Valedictorian – Cameron Aston

2019-04-cameron-aston-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgFor mechanical engineering major Cameron Aston, completing all his courses with a 4.0 and being chosen as the Southern Utah University 2019 Valedictorian is a dream come true. To him, it is “proof that you can do anything you set your mind to and an honor [he] will always treasure and be grateful for.”

Following his graduation from SUU, Aston plans on working in the field as a design engineer and is currently considering a position in southern Utah. While he eventually plans on pursuing graduate school after a few years working in the field, he is ready for a small break from studying.

“If I have learned anything from SUU, it’s that I love to learn. I plan to continue learning everything I can about engineering and other aspects of science,” Aston said.

College of Science and Engineering – Nic Bastian

2019-04-nic-bastian-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgNic Bastian is proud to represent the Southern Utah University College of Science and Engineering as the 2019 Valedictorian. Bastian will be graduating with a degree in mathematics with a concentration on pure mathematics.

Bastian has participated in undergraduate research alongside Dr. Andrew Misseldine, assistant professor of mathematics, allowing him to apply his education in an experiential way. He has also taken six courses from Dr. Misseldine and looks to him as a mentor.

“Nic is a brilliant student, probably one of the best students I’ve ever seen at SUU,” said Misseldine. “He doesn’t procrastinate his work, he prioritizes his time well, he has presented his research at a gaggle of different places and has been published in a mathematical journal with another submission on its way. He is the perfect model of the type of student we want in the College of Science and Engineering.”

College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Mercedes Dreyer

2019-04-mercedes-dreyer-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgMercedes Dreyer is thrilled to receive the honor of representing the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as the 2019 Valedictorian. Dreyer is graduating from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a language emphasis in Greek, and a minor in psychology.

The ambitious Dreyer has known for quite some time that she’d like to pursue a career in publishing. Her career goals focus on making academic literature more broadly accessible to the public.

“I am passionate about making academia more accessible to everyone,” Dreyer said, “Whether it be through tutoring, sharing, and discussing major works of literature, or compiling resources of academic works for an individual to easily access.”

College of Education and Human Development – Rylie Miller

2019-04-rylie-miller-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgThis year’s 2019 Southern Utah University Education and Human Development valedictorian, Rylie Miller, is no stranger to being valedictorian, she was also valedictorian of her high school graduation class.

“Being valedictorian means that I did my absolute best to learn everything I could while at Southern Utah University. It was not my ultimate goal to be valedictorian, it was something that came with my dedication to be the best athletic trainer I can be,” said Miller.

As Miller begins a new chapter in life she wanted to leave a piece of advice to those just starting college, “Make a special effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Do something each day that makes you happy and/or is relaxing to avoid feeling burned out by the stresses of college.”

College of Performing and Visual Arts – Angela R. Woods

2019-04-angela-woods-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgAngela Woods is proud to claim the honor of being named the 2019 valedictorian for Southern Utah University’s College of Performing and Visual Arts.

Woods will earn her Bachelor’s of Music Education with a 4.0 GPA. She has focused her time at SUU on personal growth, expanding her ability to play the clarinet and energetically developing her familiarity and skill in a teaching capacity. Overall, Woods has enjoyed having the time to grow as a performer and a teacher while at SUU, and she holds her time at SUU in high regard. Woods will complete her student teaching with Cedar Middle School and is excitedly looking forward to a future in education.

In her final advice to incoming students, Woods urged students to, “Remember that the best successes always come after failures. It’s okay to fall, so long as you never stay down.”

School of Business – Jordan Caldwell

2019-04-jordan-caldwell-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgThe Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business is proud to announce accounting major Jordan Caldwell as their 2019 Valedictorian. Caldwell has proudly maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his time at SUU and has been on the Dean’s List, as well as receiving several other academic accolades, though he is proudest of his ability to balance a busy school, work, and personal life.

“Jordan is an excellent student and always shows great respect for faculty and his fellow classmates,” said Dean of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business, Mary Pearson. “Jordan acts with high integrity and is a wonderful example of the caliber of students in the School of Business.”

Moving forward, Caldwell plans to complete a Master of Accountancy here at Southern Utah University and will begin working for a public accounting firm in Salt Lake City after his graduation.

School of Integrated & Engaged Learning – Kelsie Eddy

2019-04-kelsie-eddy-college-valedictorians-sq.jpgComing from a long line of educators, education has always been important to 2019 School of Integrative and Engaged Learning (SIEL) valedictorian, Kelsie M. Eddy.

Eddy chose to major in SIEL because she wanted a degree that would fit her future career plans and SIEL was able to give her that. Eddy was able to customize her major so she could take a wide variety of classes ranging from computer science classes to marketing and graphic design.

When asked about her plans after graduation she responded, “I’m excited to have more time to make games! Balancing school and homework with my job and other responsibilities has been tough these last few semesters, I’m looking forward to having schoolwork taken off my plate so I can focus my efforts elsewhere and get started as a full-time indie developer.”

For a full schedule of graduation, events visit the 2019 commencement site.

Story and Photography Courtesy of: SUU Marketing Communication, Lyndsey Nelson
Original Story can be found here.

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